Richard Adamson from Young Henrys is working on a GABS beer rich in history.
What beer are you making for GABS?
We are making a beer kombucha. It will be made from tea and malt and fermented with a SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Kombucha is an ancient drink that cool at the moment with the celebs – famous for its apparent healing and detoxifying properties. Ours will be low alcohol, sweet/sour beer. No hippy health benefits claimed!
Does it have a name yet?
Current working title is Divine Manchu. Kombucha is known as divine tsche in Korea and manchurian mushroom tea in China.
Where did the inspiration come from?
We have worked with Perfect South for one of our previous limited release beers, and the girls from Rabbit Hole came down to the brewery recently to do some tea tasting. Also, our neighbours are a vegan café and on the same day the owner inquired about making a traditional kombucha for her. Whilst we are not be able to do that on a regular basis, we thought it might be fun to try and make a beer version for GABS.
How much effort goes into designing a beer for GABS?
We try and have a specialty, limited release beer always available so we make something new once or twice a month. We usually come up with a concept based on the season and what is inspiring us at the moment, build the recipe and go for it. For GABS, we will actually be doing some trials as none or us have ever worked with a SCOBY before. We also need to grow the culture up to a commercial scale so there will be several small scale batches made prior to doing the released beer. This is certainly the most work we have done in the planning stages of a beer.
Does GABS give you the chance to go a bit crazy and try something you might not normally brew?
We are pretty experimental as it is and like to make interesting limited releases but we have certainly raised the bar for this event.
Does the Spectapular bring out a competitive streak?
There are so many great brewers involved that you don’t want to make something pedestrian or safe. Hopefully some of the others brewers will read what we are doing and say we are completely nuts whilst wishing they thought of it first…
Explanation for the unaware: GABS is Great Australasian Beer Spectapular, a beer festival in Melbourne, Australia, from May 24-26 this year where brewers make a beer they’ve never made before and bring it along so the punters can try it. Cool, huh?